In a small city in Upper Franconia, lies a small town Hof - with just over 50,000 inhabitants. Every year this little town is transformed into an international venue where the best filmmakers hob nob and some of the best films are screened. The Hof Film Festival, founded in 1967 by Heinz Badewitz is now a ‘must’ for many filmmakers. Badewitz is currently attending Bengaluru International Film Festival.
“I started off as a cameraman and a filmmaker. I used to make movies in Munich, the capital of new German cinema back then,” informs Badewitz. But he soon found, as did his fellow filmmakers, that their films were not going to be accepted by mainstream theatres or film festivals. After being turned down by the premiere festival Oberhausen, because one of their films was considered politically inappropriate, a decision was made to start a film festival, back home in Hof.
“In 1967 we featured a two and a half hour programme of short films. The theatre was full - 300 attended. At the time nobody seriously thought it would actually continue. But in the years that followed, the festival grew, fuelled by demand from filmmakers. Now filmmakers like Wim Wenders, Herzog, Fassbender all come to our festival often,” says Badewitz. This year at BIFFES, Badewitz will present five select films screened in the last five years at Hof festival. These are Eastalgia by Daria Onyshchenko, 13 Semester by Frieder Wittich, Housten by Bastian Gunther, Breaking Horizins by Pola Beck and The Poll Diaries by Chris Kraus.